Art Walk 5: Animal Art

Just don’t count all the sheep to doze off. This is an Art Walk, not a sleepwalk, and a Walk to bring the series out of its long winter hibernation at that.

Are you ready for a subarasheep time? (Memory jog from pun section of Art Walk 1subarashii (“soo-bah-rah-shee”) means “wonderful” in Japanese.)

Though it is “shear” folly to prevent me from punning, I won’t blame you for saying “Baaa, humbug” to my baaad jokes.

I made a concerted effort to include art that had not been featured in the blog. To see previously posted pieces, visit the Animal Art gallery. I’ll have to update it to include newer pieces and likely some older ones that have not been uploaded yet.

For the birds

When I was in high school, I once went to an event when the Saint Louis Art Museum partnered with the Saint Louis for life drawing. A zookeeper brought a few relatively small animals to the museum (lawn — note “to” the museum, not “in” the museum) for participants to draw. There were birds of prey and an opossum. I also drew the zookeeper, but I have yet to relocate that sketch.

The above profile sketch became the reference for this painting in 2018.

The owl below is not from the life drawing session. It was the outcome of using up some acrylic paint before it dried. 

I have a series of bird paintings on panels that has not been posted yet; they will receive their own post later in the year and be added to the animal gallery.

Here, kitty, kitty

Having had cats most of my life, it’s no surprise I drew them somewhat often (cats in general, not just mine). Here’s one from 6th grade. (No dogs today. They will appear in Art Walk 6.)

Does Cats (the musical) fan art count? No, but I’ll post some anyhow. The “bagpipe” made of candy canes and a football still makes me smile. It was an actual production prop, not just a figment of my imagination. What sweet music. (Readers probably know by now the pun is always intended.)

Here is a compilation of sketches of my cats.

Pandas

There are no Pandagrams in this post, but perhaps you will enjoy some realistic panda sketches (I think from 2014). One sketchbook page later, Pandagrams were born. You can see the precursor to Butterfly at the bottom right.

Other

As mentioned in previous posts, for birthdays, holidays, & such, I often drew cards or gifted my friends drawings of their favorite things. (Not just Japanese boy bands! XD)

One friend particularly loved wolves & dragons, so it was easy to decide what to draw for her. I suppose this could pass as a coyote, but the ears and snout seem rounded or wide enough to distinguish it as a wolf.

The butterfly is fantastical (not a real species). A tidbit appropriate to the reflective nature of the Art Walks is that this was the first serious watercolor painting I did (in high school), “serious” implying that I wasn’t just a kid splashing around with paint at home or primary school art class — or with children’s activity books with 3-5 circles of color on the front or the little dry cakes of paint. Until the day I started this, I had never seen watercolor paint squeezed out of a tube. Now tube watercolors are all I use.

“See ya later, alligator” seems appropriate to send you off today. Here is a crayon and pencil sketch of the required response’s reptile from my Peter Pan-themed door from a house (dormitory) decorating contest in winter 2011 (which I won).

This Art Walk now draws to a close. “Pun intended” is restated as preparation for part six.

Art Walk 3: Elementary, My Dear Bergeson

Today’s Art Walk has a new theme and timeframe: elementary school.

If you are just starting the Art Walks, welcome. Briefly, this series reviews my art from years past. You do not need to read episode 1 or episode 2 before this one because the content is not chronological. 1 & 2 are thematically grouped to the effect of “Memoirs of a Teenage J-pop Fan Artist.”

Watson’s comment is how I chose to continue the unintentional Ohno (Satoshi)/”oh, no” title art trend (and thereby render it intentional). “Misquote” refers obliquely to the fact that canonically, Sherlock never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

I know exactly the drawing to start. Cue Inigo Montoya: “I am waiting for you, Vizzini! You told me to go back to the beginning, so I have.”

As far as school art goes, this is the beginning. When I drew it, I tried to figure out how to do aerial perspective. (I would not have used that phrase then, but I could tell that things look smaller further away.) See the speckled area on the left? I envisioned the neighborhood in the valley visible from my backyard. The small green dots are trees and the larger green patches yards.

In this picture, also from kindergarten, I like that I can see the process—that I built (drew) the snowman before I dressed it and drew hair before putting on the hood. The second is harder to see, but click to enlarge, & look closely at the hood. Part of it is green because the yellow marker blended with the blue. I also like the snowman’s funny expression. (Perhaps I could have used it as the “Oh, no” for the title image.)

There’s no date or grade on the back of the next one. I think it’s from either first or second grade. (Click to enlarge.)

“Frottage” derives from frotter, French for “to rub.” I arranged leaves, laid a sheet of paper over them, and rubbed crayons on it to make the textures of the leaves.

The next pictures are from my early days as an illustrator, long before Racing Pajamas. My elementary school had a small publishing center (basically a cubicle); students could bring a story or essay, select a book cover, and design a title label. A staple-bound book would be ready a few days later.

This is perhaps a desultory illustration to select because the setting is a bathroom, but if Marcel Duchamp can claim to turn a urinal into art, I can show a kid’s drawing of a loo and draw less criticism. (Pun always intended.) I am impressed with the commode & the toilet paper dispenser; all the components are there in decent proportions.

Other projects involved filling blank, pre-bound books, for instance, the fifth grade immigration project. Students learned about waves of immigration to America in conjunction with family history. We read Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse; the next two drawings are depictions of towns in the story.

Unlike everything above, the next two pieces were done in art class (also fifth grade). The first is a scene made after learning about Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings.

This puma on scratchboard was from a different unit. The directions of the fur were a good challenge.

Thanks for walking. See you again.

Art Zoo

Once Handmade Hopewell (HH) finished, I could spend more time working on art again instead of working on presenting art. Here are recent animal paintings.

This sea turtle was “finished” a few weeks ago, after HH. To give a sense of scale, it is leaning against a door.

At the start, there were some energetic, sketchy elements I quite liked, eg., around the flippers, but most of those areas ended up getting more refined or painted over. Looking at it now, I wish I had preserved more of them. Even so, the painting satisfied my need to do something artistic besides re-painting tulips and working on my video for HH, and I am generally content with it.

The Wednesday after HH, I got a call from neighbors who asked whether I were willing & able to come up with something artistic & humorous that night to mail Thursday morning to a couple getting married that Friday or Saturday. Although these wedding pandas are not punny of themselves, my neighbors were encouraged to send the happy couple a note congratulating them on going forward with their wedding during the panda-demic.

There are also some bird paintings, but I will save them for another time.

I hope you enjoyed today’s trip to the zoo.

“God created great whales”…

… And I painted one. 

The word “serene” kept coming to me during the creation of this painting.  I started this with the remaining pigments on my palette after completing the Honu painting featured two posts ago. (Link goes to the post.) This painting is quite a bit larger than that one: 24″ x 30″. I had planned to hang it in my office at work, but a buyer came along before that happened. 🙂 I can always painting another one (or two or three if there are any interested parties out there).

Hope you enjoyed this little whale-watching trip. ‘Til next time.

Paintings from Paradise

Alooooooha! Two and a half weeks ago, I returned from my first visit to the Hawaiian Islands–Kaua’i and Hawai’i (the Big Island), plus a day on Oahu. The different environments, animals, and a number of the local art galleries, inspired some fun, artistic exploration once I got back to the mainland. That’s what I’m sharing today. 

  1. Some pen doodles inspired by some of the simple graphic designs on National Park pins. My traveling party saw green sea turtles (honu in Hawaiian) on two occasions: once at Punalu’u, a black sand beach, & again at Kaloko-Honokohau, a National Historic Park.

 

2. Ginger plant (acrylic, 8 x 10″). The ginger blooms in several different colors — red, white, yellow, & pink. The pinks & reds were quite striking against the green foliage of the rainforests.  

3. Painting of a honu resting (oil, 9″ x 6.5″). This was painted more like a watercolor would be (in terms of layers & values). First I painted the yellow across the whole hardboard (such that it started off looking like a background color), and then the blues on top of that, preserving the lights. Many of the greens were actually mixed right on the surface when the blue & yellow paint met. 

Mahalo nui loa for reading.